Finding the right disability insurance is the easiest way to protect your income in case you can’t work as a nurse anymore because of an injury or illness. It’s especially important financial protection for nurses who are high-earners or have advanced degrees.
Disability insurance can pay out if you’re temporarily unable to work, like after complications from pregnancy or childbirth, or it can pay out for decades if you can never go back to work as a nurse.
Why nurses need disability insurance
Nurses need disability insurance because it’s essential financial protection. If you’re a nurse, it means you’ve spent at least a year or two in school, maybe more if you have an advanced nursing degree. Having disability insurance means that your investment in yourself is protected even if you’re hurt or sick and can’t work as a nurse anymore.
Long-term disability insurance protects your savings by replacing your income while you can’t work, which means you’ll still be able to cover your expenses even when you’re not able to work as a nurse (including any student debt from nursing school).
What nurses need to know about disability insurance
The best kind of disability insurance for nurses is a long-term own-occupation policy. If you can’t work as a nurse anymore because of a disability, own-occupation means you’ll still get benefits even if you get another, non-nursing job.
Any-occupation disability insurance is often much more affordable than own-occupation, but you only get benefits if you can’t work in any other job that fits your education and training levels.
Should nurses get disability insurance while in school?
It can be a good idea to get disability insurance while you’re still in nursing school because rates are lower when you’re younger. You can buy coverage early, lock in lower rates, and protect your future income.
Should nurses get short-term disability insurance?
If you’re already working as a nurse, you may get discounted or free short-term disability coverage through the hospital or clinic where you work.
Short-term disability coverage won’t pay out nearly as long as a long-term disability policy, and coverage is tied to your employment, but it’s worth having as extra protection.
Disability insurance riders for nurses
There are some disability insurance riders, or extra coverage options, that are smart add-ons for nurses, especially those with high incomes.
Cost of living adjustment (COLA): Increases your monthly benefit to keep up with inflation.
Future increase rider: Lets you add more coverage if your income increases without having to go through another medical exam.
Non-cancelable/guaranteed premiums: Keeps your policy active at the same rate as long as you make payments on time.
Partial disability benefit: Pays out benefits when you lose only part of your income because of an injury or illness.
Retirement protection: Replaces the regular retirement contributions you made while you were working.
Student loan rider: Continues making your nursing or grad school payments while you’re disabled and can’t work.
Do nurses need a Social Security rider?
A Social Security Offset rider may help lower your disability insurance costs. This part of your policy requires you to apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) while you’re getting private benefits, and it can be a good option for nurses.
If you qualify for coverage, your insurance company deducts your SSDI benefits from your private benefits and lowers your premium in line with your reduced coverage.
Cost of disability insurance for nurses
Your disability insurance rates depend on what kind of nurse you are and where you work. The higher your income, the more expensive your disability insurance, because there’s more to protect.
Generally disability insurance costs around 1% to 3% of your annual income, but your age, coverage levels, health, and other factors also affect what you pay for coverage.
Cost of long-term disability insurance for nurses
$169 to $508 per month
$101 to $304 per month
$101 to $302 per month
Registered nurses (RNs)
$68 to $203 per month
Best disability insurance companies for nurses
The best disability insurance companies for nurses offer riders that nurses need, like cost of living adjustments, future increase options, and retirement protection.
Try to work with a disability insurance company known for covering high-net worth workers if you have advanced training and a high salary.
What we like …
Includes a survivor benefit for your beneficiary.
Includes a vocational training benefit.
Offers lifetime continuous benefits for total disabilities, even after the policy expires.
Offers coverage for disabilities related to mental health, drugs, and alcohol.
Offers a future insurability rider that's good until your 60th birthday.
Specializes in coverage of people with very high-risk jobs and severe medical history.
Offers a lump-sum payment of $62,400 in addition to regular benefits if you're presumptively disabled.
Includes a family care benefit if you have to take care of a sick loved one.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can always talk to a disability insurance broker at Policygenius to get quotes and see what your best options are.
How nurses can get disability insurance
You can find the best disability insurance for nurses by following these simple steps: